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CTA IT StudentsHigh school students in the SVHEC Career Tech Academy are enjoying a unique opportunity to gain college credits, industry recognized credentials, and real world experience while still in high school.

“The Career Tech Academy IT program is a great opportunity to learn how to use more advanced technology and has allowed me to increase my certifications while in high school,” said Eli Evans, a Halifax County High School student in the Career Tech Academy (CTA) IT program.

Juniors and seniors from Halifax County High, Randolph-Henry High, and Bluestone High Schools come to the SVHEC five days a week to participate in the dual-enrollment, hands-on training program. CTA classes incorporate real workplace labs and soft skills to prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career or more advanced training after high school.

Will Abdi, a Halifax County High School student in the CTA Information Technology Program, states, “I like being over here (at the SVHEC).” He feels what makes this experience different from the high school setting is the hands-on labs, which mimic a repair or data center seen at a real job. Abdi notes he was surprised at all the technology he has been exposed to in the CTA IT program with instructor, Scottie Clowdis.

Career Tech Academy administrators and staff work closely with the Charlotte, Halifax and Mecklenburg County School Districts to ensure the CTA curriculum incorporates the knowledge and skills required by the Virginia Department of Education’s “Profile of a Virginia Graduate.” According to those guidelines, students must learn and apply skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship so they are “life ready” upon graduation.

Bringing together students from three different high schools exposes students to what they’ll face in the workplace or in college. Students must adapt and apply important soft skills like communication, teamwork, and collaboration.

Randolph-Henry High School CTA IT student Shanice Barksdale said she enjoyed meeting students from the other schools, and feels the program has taught her a lot of shanice barksdaleinformation she didn’t already know. “I was surprised about the variety of hands-on experiences in the course,” she said.

Eli Evans agreed stating, “I’ve enjoyed being able to meet new people, the hands-on experience, and being at a college level ready to enter the workforce. I would recommend to anyone to join as soon as you can.”

The process for admissions for the 2019-20 school year begins with perspective students taking the dual enrollment college placement assessment either at their high school or by scheduling an appointment with Student Services at the Community College Office at the SVHEC. Perspective students must obtain a score of ENF1 in English/Writing and MTE 1 or pass the Algebra 1 SOL in Math to be eligible. An application must be completed at the student’s high school through the guidance department and given to the CTE Coordinator. Spots are limited so it is important to contact the guidance department as soon as possible to begin the admission process.

For more information about the CTA Information Technology Program, please contact Stephanie Robinson, CTA Administrator, at 434-572-5492 or stephanie.robinson@svhec.org. Information about the CTA programs can also be found online at www.svhec.org/cta.